A Mission of Discovery
Powered by a deep love for dogs and a passion for understanding everything about them, Ryan and Adam Boyko have spent the last decade learning everything they could about dogs – how did they first get humans to fall in love with them, how did humans and dogs change each other in the years since then, and how can we best care for our furry family members?
In the course of their quest to understand the domestic dog, Embark's founders have discovered many of the things that make every breed and every individual dog unique. Their pioneering work revealed an origin of the domestic dog near Central Asia over 15,000 years ago and the history of dog populations around the globe.
Adam's lab has also uncovered the genetic basis for many dog diseases and traits. While they have enjoyed working in remote corners of the world and in the lab, Adam and Ryan have always wanted to share their work and improve the lives of pet dogs everywhere. Partnering with the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, the leading veterinary school in the country, and Matt Salzberg, a direct-to-consumer business icon, they founded Embark to bring cutting-edge science and insights directly onto your phone and desktop.
Owners and their pets can immediately benefit from all the newest and most advanced science. They can also contribute to advancing scientific discoveries every day. By continually sharing new insights while collecting more data, our dogs can benefit from the best care.
Embark with Us
We invite you to join us in making new discoveries in dog health, wellness, care, and understanding via our research questions, continual results updates, blog posts, social media, and events.Order now
Who We Are
RYAN BOYKO: Chief Executive Officer
Ryan founded Embark after a decade spent using novel analytical approaches to tackle tough questions in public health, ecology, and industry. From Ebola outbreaks to retailer analytics to social evolution and sports science, Ryan has worked and published across a number of fields. Throughout that time, Ryan traveled the world collecting dog samples and contributing to a number of scientific studies. Ryan founded Embark to bring the insights from that research to dog owners and unlock the potential for Big Data to improve the lives of dogs and humans the world over. He has a BA in Computer Science from Harvard and graduate degrees in public health and ecology from Yale and the University of California at Davis.
ADAM BOYKO: Chief Science Officer
Adam is an associate professor in Biomedical Sciences at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, focused on the genomic investigation of dogs. Adam’s research has addressed fundamental questions of dog evolution and history, disease and trait mapping, and advancing genomic tools for canine research. Adam has coauthored over 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers, including research in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Morris Animal Foundation. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and received an MS in Computer Science and a PhD in Biology from Purdue University before his postdoctoral work at Cornell and Stanford.
MATT BARTON: Chief Technology Officer
Matt is driven by curiosity and passion for solving business problems and understanding technology. He built a successful technology consulting practice, and has helped companies around the world to solve their most difficult strategic problems. He studied Computer Science and Manufacturing Engineering at Stanford University and the University of Cambridge. He is excited to be applying genetic science to improve health and wellness, and to be a part of advancing the frontiers of science.
ADAM MEDROS: Chief Operating Officer
Adam joins Embark from edX where he was President and co-CEO overseeing day-to-day management of operations including product, marketing, engineering, content, sales, finance, and HR. Prior to edX, Adam spent 13 years at TripAdvisor where as SVP, Global Product he helped grow TripAdvisor into a global, public company with over 400 million monthly users and $1.5 billion in revenue. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Mightier and was previously a Board Director at Wordstream before its sale to Gannett. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
EMILY LEVADA: Chief Product Officer
Emily is a customer-obsessed product leader with a knack for delivering value through delightful & intuitive ecommerce products and tools. She has a track record of success driving change management through rapid scaling during a 9-year tenure at Wayfair. She also has a passion for organizational behavior--frequently writing and speaking about the role trust and psychological safety play in organizational creativity, risk-tolerance, and resilience. Prior to joining Wayfair, Emily had a previous career in professional theatre production and received an MBA from the Yale School of Management.
TALI RONEN: Vice President of People
Tali is a People-First HR Leader with international biotech and start-up experience. She is passionate about recruiting great people, developing leaders, and designing cultures and organizations that unleash potential and deliver results.
MICHELLE PENNY: Executive Vice President, R&D
Michelle has 20 years’ experience in the biopharmaceutical industry at Pfizer, Lilly, Biogen and most recently Goldfinch Bio. Recognized for her focus on scientific excellence, she has successfully integrated genomic biomarker strategies into drug discovery and development programs. Michelle received her PhD in Genetics from the University of Birmingham, completed postdoctoral work at the National Institute for Medical Research in London, and was a lecturer in Human Molecular Genetics at Imperial College London before joining Pfizer.
Michelle is co-chair of the National Academies Roundtable on Genomics and Precision Health. She is a passionate advocate of connecting people—and dogs—to genomic research and clinical trials to improve health outcomes.
AMISH DESAI: Chief Financial Officer
Amish Desai is responsible for Corporate Finance functions at Embark, including financial planning & analysis and controllership. He also oversees business development and supply chain operations. Amish joined Embark from Rue Gilt Groupe, where he was the Senior Vice President with responsibility for all Finance functions including M&A, treasury, and internal audit.
With more than 20 years of finance and strategy stewardship, Amish brings extensive experience across brands and functions in mid-to-large scale public and privately owned companies. He began his career at Deloitte and has held several leadership roles across specialty chemicals, e-commerce, and the consumer retail industry. His retail brand experience portfolio includes Victoria’s Secret, The Limited, Henri Bendel, and J. Jill.
Amish holds a MBA from Lehigh University. He is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant. Amish serves as an advisory board member to Stylecard, a personalized clothing shopping startup company. He is a founding member of The F Suite, an independent community platform for CFOs of leading venture capital funds and high-growth technology companies.
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER: David Botstein, PhD
Dr. David Botstein is the Chief Scientific Officer at Calico Life Sciences and an expert in the genetics of aging. His prestigious academic career includes his role as Director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University and Chairman of the Department of Genetics at Stanford University. Dr. Botstein was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1981 and to the Institute of Medicine in 1993. He has received numerous awards, including the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER: Carlos Bustamante, PhD
Dr. Carlos D. Bustamante is a population and computational geneticist with expertise in the application of data science and genomics to problems in biology and medicine. He is the founder and CEO of Galatea Bio, Inc., Venture Partner at F-Prime Capital, and Board Observer at Embark. He is Professor of Biomedical Data Science, Genetics, and Biology at Stanford University (on leave) where he was Founding Director of the Stanford Center for Computational, Evolutionary, and Human Genomics (CEHG) and Inaugural Chair of the Department of Biomedical Data Science. He is also Adjunct Professor of Business Technology at the University of Miami Herbert Business School.
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER: Jerry Lanchbury, PhD
Dr. Jerry Lanchbury is a human geneticist and specialist in molecular diagnostic medicine. As the Chief Scientific Officer at Myriad Genetics, he led teams in the development of major molecular diagnostic innovations in oncology, urology, rheumatology and neuroscience. Previously, he was the head of the Molecular Immunogenetics Unit at King’s College London and Director of Dunhill Medical Research Laboratories at the United Medical and Dental Schools of the University of London.
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER: John Novembre, PhD
Dr. John Novembre is an expert in population genomics and Professor in the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Chicago. His research focuses on developing computational tools to analyze genetic diversity with an emphasis on geographic and temporal variation. He has served as a scientific advisor for AncestryDNA and he was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2015. He earned his PhD in Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley and did his postdoctoral training in the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Chicago.
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER: Roberta Relford, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVIM, DACVP
Previously the Chief Medical Officer at IDEXX Laboratories, Dr. Roberta Relford has over 30 years of veterinary experience that spans private practice, university teaching, research, and commercial diagnostics. Dr. Relford earned her DVM from Auburn University before obtaining a second doctorate with a PhD in veterinary pathology from Texas A&M University, where she also pursued advanced training in small animal internal medicine. She is certified by both the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER: Jasper Rine, PhD
Dr. Jasper Rine is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor and Distinguished
Professor of Genetics, Genomics, and Development at UC Berkeley. He founded the Dog Genome Project and led the team that developed the first complete map of the canine genome. Dr. Rine served as President of the Genetics Society of America. He is a former director of the Human Genome Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science and of the American Academy of Microbiology. He has founded and directed multiple successful biotech companies.
Tracing the Origins of the Dog
Knowing village dogs worldwide was key to unlocking the story of dogs and improving the lives of dogs across the globe, Adam and Ryan started studying them in 2007. Eventually, they convinced National Geographic, the National Science Foundation, and others to send them across the world, studying dogs in 40 countries on every inhabitable continent. Their work has resulted in a new understanding of the Asian origin of dogs and provides unique insight into the genetic diversity of dogs worldwide.
Forefront of Research
In a study published in 2016 in Nature Communications, Adam describes how his laboratory analyzed nearly 5,000 DNA samples from the
Cornell Veterinary Biobank and succeeded in finding new associations with hip dysplasia risk, colitis, body size, and fur shedding. From this work, it is now possible to accurately predict how big an adult dog will be from its genetics.
Partner with Us
Embark was founded to improve the lives of dogs for generations to come. We believe in collaborating with the best researchers and veterinarians worldwide to better dog health and wellness.
If you are a researcher and would like to collaborate with us please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a dog breeder or breed club interested in working with Embark to improve the genetic health of your breed please contact us at email@example.com
Adam and Ryan grew up with rescue dogs and have continued the tradition by adopting four more rescue dogs as adults. In founding the company, they believe that every dog has a home and Embark can help match the right dogs to the right families to make sure all pups find a happy forever home. Unfortunately, right now, millions of dogs are in shelters and foster care still waiting to find a family. At Embark we are dedicated to working with shelters to improve the lives of these dogs and get as many of them adopted as possible. We are partnering with shelters in Nepal and the USA providing funding and genetic tests to assist them in their vital work.
Working with Shelters
We try to offer discounts to shelters and rescues as often as possible, in order to help these organizations place homeless animals. We are accepting donations to improve the lives of shelter animals through the Embark Veterinary Foundation. Please get in touch with us if you’re interested in making a donation.
If you are a shelter and would like to get in touch with us, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in donating to this cause, please contact us via email at email@example.com.